SOG Camp Axe Review

SOG Specialty Knives, Inc provides knives, axes, and other outdoor tools. The company produces its line of multi-tools, inspired by military designs but usually designed for everyday carry. Famed for the SOG knife of the Vietnam era, few can beat the reputation that SOG has amassed over the years.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the SOG camp axe. The specs are as follows:

  • Axe head: Stainless steel
  • Handle: Glass-reinforced nylon
  • Blade length: 3.1 inches
  • Item weight: 1lb
  • Overall length: 11.5 inches

It is currently available on Amazon for just $54.

What We Like

I noticed the sheath first – it appears to be made of the same glass-reinforced Nylon as the handle.  The sheath has a rubber strap that wraps around the back of the axe and will prevent any accidents from occurring. This is particularly important as it was razor-sharp right out of the box; without the nylon sheath, it would be easy to injure yourself.

The handle is pretty thin and I assumed that I would be dealing with some discomfort or vibration, but the nylon handle prevented that from occurring. The handle material is durable enough to be used as a hammer tool , and you can use it to hammer tent stakes in without much of an issue. It was easy to use and will chop wood for kindling quickly enough, it would make a neat addition to your camping trip.

However,  if you’re looking for something to fell larger trees or take on more heavy-duty work, you should look elsewhere. The smaller cutting edge means that you’ll have difficulty performing anything too intense with it.

In terms of functionality, it’s a great portable bushcraft axe and could also be used as a Tomahawk , though it doesn’t seem to be designed for it, several customers report success. It is lightweight, well-balanced, and durable, making it the perfect throwing axe. The small size means it’ll fit nicely into your backpack, and you’ll barely notice you’re carrying it. 

SOG has a long-running reputation that spans back to 1986, I’ve never had a problem accessing quality customer service for any of my SOG purchases. Overall, the selling point here is how portable and versatile it is. The materials are high-quality and I think with some care it could last a long time. SOG does offer a lifetime warranty of sorts, too, stating that ‘‘SOG for life: Take care of your camp axes and hatchets, and we’ll take care of you; we gladly consider repairs and replacements for your properly maintained SOG Camp Axe.’’

What We Wish Was Different

There’s a lot to like about the SOG camping hatchet, but I also have a few criticisms. Firstly, the small size. It’s advertised as a camping axe, but the majority of campers are going to want to split wood at some point. Splitting logs, particularly substantial ones, would be nearly impossible due to its small size. 

You could break a larger log if you were willing to use a hammerhead with it, but at that point, you may as well rely on a larger axe. You’re limited to using it for kindling or as a throwing axe. If it were slightly larger, it would make a decent survival hatchet. The size is easy to overestimate, but it would make an excellent pocket hatchet for context.

Another thing is that it may need to be re-tightened – the axe head seemed to come loose quickly. While it was fine after being tightened, it’s something to think about. The last thing you’ll want to do while traipsing your camping gear around to your campsite is mess around, tightening your axe head.

If you’re looking for something to take on the odd weekend away, then this could be an excellent little tool for you. If you’re looking for something reliable to use day-in-day-out, you should look at more heavy-duty options.

What Other Customers Say

We’ve taken a look at some customer reviews to get a feel for what other customers think of this product.

‘‘I’m not sure if maybe I need to sharpen it more or what, but I had a hard time splitting split logs for kindling. I couldn’t even remove the bark off of a split log that well  (took some effort trying to chisel it off with the axe and another log). I was working with cherry wood logs so maybe that was a factor. I’ll give it another go with something softer like pine.

The head cover is hard to take off and put back on. Plus the rubber strap broke after only a few uses. Not a big deal a little annoying.”

 The axe is lightweight and convenient to carry.’’  – Gerald A.

‘‘Very solid product only had to complaints:

1. Needed to be retightened

2. Wish it was a tad bit bigger borderline too small.

If you wanted weekend warrior something to play around with this is great!

If you want to use this for actual expeditions in the real world and use for days on end you might want to rethink.’’ Justin M.

‘‘We took this camping and the first time we used it, it struggled to get through a pre-split log to make kindling. The head is not smooth all the way back so it gets stuck when the head comes top breaks through the wood. The handle is not conducive to a non-gloved hand, a hard plastic handle with really no grip on it. When hammering the hatchet through, it went well but I don’t generally carry a hatchet and a hammer on a camping trip’’ – Beth

 ‘‘While you won’t be chopping big logs without hours of patience and persistence, this thing does work! During a winter hiking trip where it was raining just above freezing temps, this thing was able to cut everything from large branches to (the most important) lumps of resin on pine trees. It was the only reason a fire was able to be started! Sharp from the get-go.’’ Kaleb B.

Wrapping Up

The SOG Camp Axe was picked as the best hatchet + hammer in our list of best bushcraft axes.

SOG is a long-running outdoor company with a well-deserved excellent reputation, offering a lifetime warranty and endless customer support. I really liked their camping axe, and it’s a great little tool if you want something portable that you can use as a throwing axe. However, since it is marketed as a camping axe, it’s disappointing that it’s not ideal for many camping-related uses (such as log splitting), but the stainless steel blade is too small.

 Overall, I recommend it if you’re looking for something you can pocket easily or need a survival axe that weighs a pound or less. But I don’t recommend it if you’re a veteran camper looking for something suited for consistent use. 
SOG Camp Axe- Compact Camping and Survival Hatchet/Hammer Tool with Sheath and 3.1 Inch Bushcraft Axe Edge (CH1001-CP)
  • STAINLESS STEEL CHOPPING AXE BLADE: Small forest axe, camping hatchet and backpacking hatchet features a 3.1-inch blade; small hatchet measures 11.5 inches in total length
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CAMPING AXES AND HATCHETS: This light but heavy duty camp hatchet and survival hatchet also serves as a handy backpacking axe; hand axe includes textured GRN handle for comfortable use
  • WOOD HATCHET AND HAMMER AXE IN ONE: Wood chopping axe can also be used as a hammer axe; the hatchet is always ready for outdoor wood splitting, pounding tent stakes, and tinder breakdown
  • CAMPING HATCHET WITH SHEATH: This small axe and hiking hatchet is lightweight and easy to carry; hand axe with sheath is a portable outdoor tool featuring glass-reinforced nylon to safely protect the blade
  • SOG for life: Take care of your camp axes and hatchets and we’ll take care of you; we gladly consider repairs and replacements for your properly maintained SOG Camp Axe

About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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